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Rainbow Honor Walk

International Design Competition San Francisco’s Rainbow Honor Walk Contest Extended through July 15

Rainbow Honor Walk

International Design Competition San Francisco’s Rainbow Honor Walk Contest Extended through July 15

Castro District Sidewalks to Hold Tribute to Historic Figures

5 May 2012 – San Francisco, CA: What should be the design of a globally important public art installation to LGBT heroes and heroines? That question is about to be answered by an international competition to create an iconic design for the Rainbow Honor Walk (, a tribute to historic LGBT figures in San Francisco’s Castro district. Last year, the first 20 names for The Rainbow Honor Walk were announced. The contest, originally slated to closed May 1, has been extended to July 15. The goal: to solicit design proposals from around the world. Four finalists will be selected, judged by a jury comprised of curators from San Francisco’s leading cultural institutions plus LGBT community leaders and a member of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Civic Design Committee. The four finalists will be presented to the Rainbow Honor Walk board that will select the winner. The designer of the winning submission will receive an honorarium of $1000. There is no fee for submission.

“This is a project of worldwide significance, and deserves a world class design,” said Rainbow Honor Walk Co-Founder and Chair David Perry. “The design of the plaques for the Rainbow Honor Walk needs to be beautiful, memorable, durable and unique.”

Envisioning the Rainbow Honor Walk, a volunteer committee of community leaders received the unanimous support of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Eventually, the Walk will stretch from the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy on 19th Street at Diamond down to Castro. On Castro Street — the LGBT community’s “Main Street” – the walk will continue up to Market Street with additional wings along 18th Street. On Market Street, San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, the Walk will continue to the LGBT Center at Octavia Boulevard.

“The Rainbow Honor Walk will not only be an inspiring educational tool for future generations, but an important, ongoing and permanent part of San Francisco’s cultural landscape,” said Tom DeCaigny, Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission. “We are honored and pleased to support this project, and look forward to assisting in any way we can.”

After the design is selected by the Rainbow Honor Walk board, it will then be presented for approval by the San Francisco Arts Commission in accordance with San Francisco’s Charter which requires all structures placed on public property to be approved by the Arts Commission. When that has been completed and the funds have been raised, the plaques will be fabricated and installed in the sidewalks.

Design Parameters:
1) Designs must include the name of the individual to be honored, their birth and death dates, and a brief description of their contributions
2) Size: 3 feet wide x 3 feet long (depth to be determined based upon engineering recommendations)
3) Materials: bronze and/or terrazzo

Individuals and/or design teams interested in participating in the design competition should contact the Rainbow Honor Walk by mail. Each submission must include:

A one page description (no more than 500 words) of why this design is appropriate along with the qualifications of the designer.
2. A CD with documentation of completed and installed public artwork or similar projects. No more than three (3) projects should be submitted although there may be multiple images of each project from different perspectives to show the design, the materials and the context in which the work is located. A maximum of 10 jpeg images may be submitted.
3. One 1 foot by 1 foot color design concept in the format of a drawing, painting or photo montage. Actual fabricated models will not be accepted. Please do not deviate from the standard submission format. Applicants may only submit one design.
4. The applicant agrees to allow the Rainbow Honor Walk to use the images of his/her submission for promotional, educational and informational purposes.
5. The winning applicant will be required to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Rainbow Honor Walk organization to allow her/his design to be implemented and to agree to consult on details related to the materials utilized for fabrication of the Walk of Fame plaques.

The information above should be mailed to: The Rainbow Honor Walk Design Contest 584 Castro Street, #113 San Francisco, California 94114

Incomplete submissions will be discarded. All submissions will become the property of the Rainbow Honor Walk. The Rainbow Honor Walk is not responsible for the loss of or damage to any materials. The materials must be hand-delivered or post-marked by midnight PST, July 15. Late applications will not be accepted. Eligibility: This competition has no geographic restrictions regarding the eligibility of its applicants. For information, please email

Following are the first 20 names selected for inclusion on the Rainbow Honor Walk:
Jane Addams (1860-1935), Social worker, first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, 1931.

James Baldwin (1924-87), American novelist, playwright, essayist, poet, civil rights activist.

George Choy (1960-93): Activist for Asian & Pacific Islander youth and people with AIDS.

Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936), Spanish poet, playwright, political activist.

Allen Ginsberg (1926-97), American poet. San Francisco Beat poet/ Free speech activist.

Keith Haring (1958-90), American artist and AIDS activist.

Harry Hay (1912-2002), English born writer, gay rights activist. Founder of The Mattachine Society, 1950.

Sylvester James (1947-88), American disco star, soul singer, San Francisco performer.

Christine Jorgensen (1926-89), Pre-eminent American transgender pioneer and advocate.

Frida Kahlo (1907-54), Mexican artist whose work has been celebrated as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition.

Del Martin (1921-2008), American feminist, gay rights activist. Founder Daughters of Bilitis.

Yukio Mishima nee Kimitake Hiraoka (1925-70), Japanese playwright, poet, actor, film director.

Bayard Rustin (1912-87), American civil rights leader.

Randy Shilts (1951-94), San Francisco journalist, biographer.

Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), American novelist, essayist, playwright.

Alan Turing (1912-54), British scientist who broke the Nazi’s Enigma Code and father of the modern computer, cryptanalyst, logician, mathematician.

Tom Waddell (1937-87), American athlete, physician, founder of the Gay Games.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish playwright, poet, novelist, essayist.

Tennessee Williams (1911-83), American dramatist, poet, novelist.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), English novelist, essayist, publisher.